Medical debt is any debt incurred by a person for a medical need. Medical needs can include anything from checkups to surgeries. One of the most pressing financial issues facing people is medical debt. Although it isn’t the main cause of bankruptcy, some medical bills can rack up quickly and leave people buried under mountains of debt. Here are eight tips to help you avoid medical debt.
1. Look for a Good Health Insurance Plan
Good health insurance will ensure you don’t rack up medical debt. Your premium payments should cover the cost of your medical bills, and the insurance company will take care of the rest. You should visit a healthcare website to find a good, affordable plan that fits your needs.
Also, understand what your health insurance plan covers. Some health insurance plans require a referral from the doctor. The referral gets sent to the insurance company, which will cover the medical bill if a physician certifies that the claim is legitimate. Know the deductible and how much you can expect to pay out of pocket.
2. Compare Prices of Different Hospitals
Compare the price of medical services at different hospitals. You should compare prices based on the quality of care and accessibility to specialists. You can find a good price without going into debt by comparing prices.
Some hospitals overcharge for medical services. It is best not to go with the first hospital you find for all your health needs. You can save a lot of money by taking the time to compare prices and find a good, cost-efficient option.
3. Enroll for a Health Savings Account
This is a very effective way to save money on medical services. Health savings accounts are similar to savings but are designed for medical needs. They can help save money and provide easy access to medical services when you need them.
The government does not tax the health saving account, but it is limited to people only with high-deductible health insurance plans. Alternative to a health saving account, you can open a general saving account through a bank which you can also use for medical purposes.
4. Always Remember to Double-Check Medical Bills
Always double-check medical bills. Mistakes can happen, but the extra time you take to ensure that all the bills are correct can save you money on your medical bill.
The most common mistakes are billing errors, insurance claim denials, duplicate billing, and more.
Even though medical bills can be hard to understand, there should be an explanation of the charges on the bill somewhere that you understand. If there isn’t, ask for clarification or get a different explanation from a doctor or nurse. Once you have a clear understanding, you can move forward with paying the bill without any issues.
5. Negotiate a Payment Plan
Sometimes you may need to negotiate a payment plan with your hospital’s billing office. Many hospitals offer financial assistance through charity care programs, especially for patients with the huge medical bill. This option works best when you and the staff at the medical office are on good terms. A payment plan can help you pay off your medical debt over time. A medical debt relief specialist can help you to manage medical debt.
6. Build an Emergency Fund
You should always have an emergency fund that can help you during those lacking times. You never know what will happen, so it’s best to take the necessary precautions and be prepared.
7. Use a Preferred Pharmacy
These pharmacies charge lower costs for prescriptions. They are usually part of the insurance plan but can also be purchased separately. These pharmacies can save you money on prescription drugs for chronic illnesses or prescriptions that need to be refilled regularly.
8. Don’t Go Out of the Network
Prevent yourself from going out-of-network by having a primary care doctor and sticking with them for as long as possible. If you have to see a specialist, get their contact information in advance and ask your primary doctor for a referral. This will ensure that you understand the cost of your medical care and out-of-pocket expenses before you see the doctor.
The future is unpredictable, so it’s best to take the necessary precautions to avoid medical debt and financial disaster. The tips above are great ways to prevent medical debt. If you follow these tips, you will be much better when an illness comes.